ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Population : Focus on Family

Focus on Family With the constitution of the jumbo-sized National Population Commission, the stage is now set for fine-tuning the multifaceted population policy. Unlike earlier times, there is now a clear acceptance of the unevenness of achievement of population goals, of in fact not needing to set the same

With the constitution of the jumbo-sized National Population Commission, the stage is now set for fine-tuning the multifaceted population policy. Unlike earlier times, there is now a clear acceptance of the unevenness of achievement of population goals, of in fact not needing to set the same 'targets', to use a now-abandoned terminology of discourse on population policy. With this has come an examination of what has gone right, not only of what has gone wrong. And increasingly it is clear that achieving the goals of decelerating population growth requires a degree of social change rather more than it does technology inputs being offered in the family welfare programmes.

For almost two decades now much has been said about the Kerala model. And while population pundits all over the world commended its achievements in controlling population, it was generally felt that the Kerala model had certain specificities – the state's political history, its high literacy and in particular women's employment – which might not be easily replicable. In the early 1990s, however, Tamil Nadu came up with the surprise of a deceleration in the birth rate. And Tamil Nadu had none of Kerala's peculiarities – it showed an important characteristic of higher work participation among women, growing industrialisation and rising literacy levels. None of these could the family welfare programme replicate. In the last decade Andhra Pradesh too is showing signs of moving towards demographic stability and again neither the availability of contraceptives nor for that matter the spread and accessibility of health care seems to be a dominant feature in the state.

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